News

State announces initial back to school guidelines

Thu 7-30-2020

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced the State’s Safe Learning Plan for the 2020-21 School Year at a press conference this afternoon.  School districts were asked in June to establish three learning models for back to school; one for in-school learning, one for distance learning and one for a hybrid mix.  Gov. Walz says that all three will be in play…Walz learning plan cut 1

“So today, we’re going to announce the Safe Learning Plan.  And as I said, this is a localized, data driven approach, to making sure that school district, where it is physically possible to teach our students we will do that.  Where we use the data to drive that decision making but understanding that county level health data has to be coupled with the what the physical plant looks like in that building.  What it looks like for your teachers, what are the ages of those teachers, what are the localized situations around COVID-19 and how do we build a planning matrix and a support system that allows us to move through a  school year with an understanding we may move from different phases, we may be in class rooms, we may be out of them at certain times, but how do we make sure the localized situation is being taken into consideration and that safety and learning environment is put forward.”

 

Governor Walz states that there was a lot that went into this decision…Walz learning plan cut 2

“This decision is many, many months in the making.  It is hundreds of hours of stakeholder engagement with schools, with administrators, with teachers, with parents, with school boards, and it’s hundreds of hours of engagement with public health professionals, to understand what is the unique nature of a school, how can you keep a school safe? And with an understanding not all schools look the same, not all parts of our state look the same and we need to take those considerations in.”

 

Schools will be able to decide which plan works best for their district, along with current county wide COVID-19 data.  Based on current models, schools in Jackson and Martin Counties would be allowed to open to in-person learning.